Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks

I’m thankful for the guy at the gym who wipes down the machines. No matter how much I or anyone else attempts to remove our splattered filth, he does it much better. Twice I’ve tried to relay my appreciation but he always just looks at me like I’m crazy. Though considering I sweat so much my shorts look like I’ve peed myself, I can understand his blank expression.

I’m thankful for the families at the Ronald McDonald House. Being single, it’s easy to get lost in a selfish existence. Sleeping in the middle of the bed and answering to no one are my norm. But the woman I drove home last night from Children’s Hospital, the woman who excitedly told me about her three-week-old baby’s progress and sadly expressed concern for the two families that had lost their children, she puts life in perspective.

I’m thankful for clients who treat me like family. Whether it’s forwarding a photograph of the owner’s daughter with Taylor Swift or inviting me to the employee appreciation luncheon, they go out of their way to show their gratitude. And if that wasn’t good enough, clients often greet me with a hug. Since I now work for someone who struggles to admit I bring any professional value to the table, it’s helpful to repeatedly be told otherwise, and by the people who matter most.

I’m thankful for the woman at the yarn shop who hung in there while I held steadfast to a specific yarn for a specific project that didn’t technically exist (chunky wool socks Olivia and Anders can wear as slippers). She poured through patterns and thoughtfully suggested yarns. She was never deterred when I scrunched my nose and shook my head no. And when I plopped down on the floor to check out some skeins, she didn’t flinch. Though she did laugh when I stood up, thanked her for her help and announced I was going to pass and instead head next door for a cookie.

I’m thankful for friends like Kristen, Joe and Barry, people who can make me laugh no matter the time or the place. I’m thankful for Martha, Leslie and Erika, friends who have talked me through some dark moments and cheered me on at the brightest of times. I’m thankful for Paula and Beth, two writers who inspire me to tell a story and tell it well. I’m thankful for Sean and Pazzy, two guys who without realizing it, have helped me see myself in ways I should but often do not. I hope I give back the same if not more than I receive from all of them.

I’m thankful for my family. For Olivia and Anders who help me see the world in a way no adult ever could. For Leslie who puts me first, guides me when I stray off course, makes me laugh to the point of tears, and cooks insanely delicious Thanksgiving stuffing. And for my parents. Though my father can be absent and my mother far too present, they both have managed to rally around me through the good and the bad.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Anonymous said...

I'm one of many people who are thankful for you. Have a terrific holiday! xo

Anonymous said...

Ditto girlfriend!! Now get your ass down here for a double recipe of stuffing and pumpkin pie...Oh and of course for some, I'm sure noteworthy, family dysfunction!!

Sarah said...

I'm thankful for your friendship. Now pass me a damn cookie.

kodiakgriff said...

Wonderful thoughts .
I am grateful for having the chance to read it, and so many other of your posts.
You words are often a bright spot in my day.
Happy Thanksgiving PJ.

Ishmael said...

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, PJ!

What's this about working for someone who doesn't appreciate you? I thought you worked for your dad? Or did you go back to the Banana? Anyway, tell them to straighten up or you'll move to Kodiak.